New Delhi: United States President Barack Obama gave the final presidential address on Wednesday in Chicago where he stressed on the importance of democracy, reason and the need to embrace diversity.
“Michelle and I have been so touched by all the well wishes we have received in the past few weeks, tonight it’s my time to say thanks,” Obama said.
Obama, who has served as the US President for eight years, said that he was optimistic about the future of America and that any effort to create a stumbling block for the nation would not be overlooked.
On Donald Trump, the President-elect who would take the Oval Office after Obama, he said, “In 10 days, our country will witness hallmark of democracy, peaceful transition from one freely elected president to another.”
Addressing the detrimental rhetorical changes occurring in the United States, the US President said that race remains a potent and divisive issue in America. He also stressed the need for Americans to accept each other – to accept people of all creeds and castes.
“The bubbles and rise of naked partisanship is a threat to our democracy,” said Obama.
Talking about radicalisation and the growing threat of the Islamic State (IS) to the US, the US Commander-in-Chief said that radicalisation was dangerous and that the US would continue its pursuits to nullify it. “No foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland these past eight years,” he said.
“After eight years as your President, I still believe that, and it’s not just my belief. It’s the beating heart of our American idea — our bold experiment in self-government,” he said.
Obama said that it was imperative for Americans accept immigrants, especially Muslim-Americans who he said was “as patriotic as we are”.
Talking about his wife and US First Lady Michelle Obama, the President became emotional and said that he was thankful for her support for the last 25 years.
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Instead of the Oval Office or East Room for his last formal set of remarks, Obama chose Chicago — the city where he declared victory in 2008 and 2012 — to address a sold-out crowd of supporters.
Earlier, he wrote on Facebook that he was returning to the city “where it all started.”